Review by Dexterity_

"SmackDown! vs RAW vs ECW"

Introduction:
- Ahh, the good days of past SmackDown! vs RAW games were entertaining - at least the developers gave their very best efforts to make the game even better. But this year's SmackDown! vs RAW series is much more than what an eye can imagine. This year's franchise now includes 3 brands. Namely, RAW, SmackDown! and ECW. With the addition of ECW, you get additional superstars to play with. Now its even more exciting, because you can get to play either brands. Now that is thrice the fun, action and wrestling.

Gameplay:
- From the past SmackDown! vs RAW games, this year's game control configuration is much more different than its successors. Grapple system is now controlled using your analog stick also pressing O at the same time to perform a grapple by your superstar. The usual finisher button which was L1 was now a TRIANGLE button. And strike attacks as well. The gameplay really improved a lot this year because you can "freely run" while on a match. The hotspot feature was still retained allowing you to fight through the crowd and get special weapons that you might not actually find under the ring. The submission system delivers a wrenching method and allowing you also to escape by moving the analog stick. The attributes of each superstar is a full integer. You can actually increase their attributes on one of the modes of the game but it wouldn't be carried out through the whole game though.

Roster:
- This year's franchise was still outdated. There were some superstars that had left WWE but was still included in the game. But I would say the roster is fine. The usual roster of the Legends were increased. But for the PSP version, there are 3 additional Legends not unlike the other consoles. For ECW, there were only like 8 superstars of the brand. There are also ECW Legends which is in contact with the ECW Brand. The Legends aren't complete actually. You are gonna have to buy some Legends by completing a certain task in Hall of Fame Mode.

Hall of Fame:
- This game now includes a mode which is called Hall of Fame. This is basically has a list of WWE history that happened in the past. Completing a certain Hall of Fame Challenge guarantees you a reward depending on how many challenges you have completed. They are also unlockables that you can unlock from the WWE Shop when you complete a specific challenge. All of what you unlocked can be accessed to a certain mode of the game.

Create Modes:
- All under this mode all have a minor improvement. In the Create-A-Entrance Mode, loading screens takes a while for a few seconds if you are previewing your entrance. Create-A-Moveset now has more lists of moves. Signature moves we're also removed. Create-A-Superstar has more layers than the usual count. Crowd signs slots has still the maximum of 4. But it has more crowd signs. Create-A-Stable can have up to 5 members with 2-3 members of that stable share one common entrance during a match type.

Tournament Modes:
- This is a mode wherein you can book up superstars into a match and select their match types they will compete in. It is like GM Mode but its a tournament. There are 2 sub-categories here. But both leads to a tournament. You can even set a tournament to determine who would face a World Champion or Tag Champions as well. Or simply a non-title match bout. Its fine. Its worth a try.

Graphics/Sound:
- For the PSP version, the graphics doesn't suite the game. I would say the graphics are fine for this version but at least they could have made it more look real in WWE. Although they remove the annoying sweating of each superstar, it still doesn't perfect the superstars. I would say the sounds are excellent. The sounds are louder and most of those soundtracks are popular.

Play Time/Replayability:
- You will really enjoy this game because of its new GM Mode. In this mode, you are now able to use up your "free" days for improving your brand's superstar or even a created wrestler that you made. Its better instead of not using those days to train your superstar. Replaying this game over a few times is okay. With so many modes to play from, you will definitely enjoy this game to its fullest and its maximum.

Final Recommendation:
- From what I have witnessed, I suggest you buying this game if you are an ECW fan and you like ECW. Otherwise, you might not enjoy it. On the other hand, if you are not an ECW fan but do like the past SmackDown! vs RAW games, then probably I won't suggest you buying this game.


Reviewer's Score: 7/10 | Originally Posted: 12/26/08

Game Release: WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2008 (US, 11/13/07)


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